I learned how to color coffee filters as a kid, and it’s always been a go-to, easy way to make crafts! Learn how to make them with markers + three projects to turn them into.
Learn how to color coffee filters and three ways to use them
I think I made colored coffee filters every year I have been in the classroom (plus when I was a kid!).
Once you make them and see how easy and fun they are, it can be like potato chips: hard to stop at one.
I love a project using materials that many people already have on hand, and I’m thrilled to show you how to use markers to make beautiful pieces of art from coffee filters.
Related: Markers are also perfect for our GIANT coloring page posters! With 20+ themes to choose from, there’s something for everyone.
Your kids will love exploring how to color coffee filters
Not only is the process fun, but I also have a trick up my sleeve to give you a 3-for-1 bang for your buck!
And don’t worry if your child wants to make 100 of them. (It could happen-seriously.)
These little beauties can be used a bazillion ways, and your kid might even think of a new way to use them, too.
Looking for more coffee filter projects for kids? Your littles will love these:
- Bath Targets – Busy Toddler
- July 4th Sensory Play With Ice – Playground Parkbench
- Planet Suncatchers – Fun-A-Day
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Here’s what you need to make colored coffee filters. I’ll list the specific additional materials necessary for each of the three crafts in their sections!
Here we’re going to learn how to make colored coffee filters. Once you know how to make these, you can make any of the three projects shared after.
First, use washable markers (Crayola are perfect) to color large patches of color on a coffee filter. You don’t have to color all of the white space, but color most of it.
Next, THE VERY BEST TRICK, stack the coffee filter on top of two other coffee filters (so you have three stacked in total). Once stacked, spray with water until the water and color are soaked through all three layers.
Last, let dry completely.
Once they’re dry, kids will be amazed to see how they have THREE coffee filters that look the same. It’s mesmerizing!
Okay, now what to do with these beautiful, dry coffee filters?
Project 1: Butterfly craft
This one is a classic. It’s almost a rite of passage.
If you make colored coffee filters, you’ve GOT to make at least one butterfly. It’s only right. 😂
HOW TO MAKE: Scrunch the center of the coffee filter together, squishing the very top center of the coffee filter to the bottom center. Once it’s pinched together in the middle, wrap a pipe cleaner around it and stick up the ends of the pipe cleaner to look like butterfly antennae.
Sometimes people add magnets to the backs of these and hang them on their fridges, too.
Project #2: Bouquet of flowers craft
These are extra popular in the Spring, and as Mother’s Day gifts.
- Pipe cleaners
- Bamboo skewers – they’re sharp on one end, so consider snipping off the poky part before providing them to kids
HOW TO MAKE: Grab the very center of the pipe cleaner, pinch it, and then fold the rest of the coffee filter up. The top will look like the flower’s petals, and the bottom will look like the pinched, narrow base of the flower.
Touch the pinched flower base to a bamboo skewer, securing them together by wrapping them tightly with a pipe cleaner.
Repeat this same process until you have as many flowers as you love!
Project #3: Decoupage jar
I made one of these projects for my mom when I was in preschool, and she still has it! It proudly sits on her desk and holds her pens and pencils. *all the warm fuzzies*
- Glass jar – I linked ones with smooth sides, which work even better than mine
- School glue – pour in a small bowl and add a small amount of water to slightly dilute
- Paintbrush – ideally, a large, fluffy one
HOW TO MAKE: Begin by cutting up your coffee filters into smaller pieces. Next, use your diluted glue to paint the side of your jar. Add on coffee filter shapes. Once covered, paint over the tissue paper shapes so they’re all wet. Let dry.
Note: If using a school glue for this project, it will dry matte (which is totally fine!). If you prefer it to look shiny, you could swap glue for glossy mod podge (look how inexpensive it is).
Can I dye coffee filters with food coloring?
Absolutely you can!
You can use many things to add color to coffee filters.
Food coloring, watercolors, liquid watercolors…there are endless options.
Markers are my preferred method (I’ve tried them all), but it’s still fun to explore other ways, too.
Yes! The colors will be darker and more natural looking, but still beautiful.
No, they have to be washable markers that bleed when wet.
Now you know how to dye color coffee filters, and it’s your turn!
What are you going to make first? A bouquet of flowers for someone you love? A jar for your desk to hold your pens and pencils?
Or maybe you’ll come up with something new.
And make sure to save your markers when they dry out to make a gorgeous water table.